--College’s First Residence Hall Achieves LEED® Gold Certification--
The Summit residence hall at Queens College has earned LEED® Gold certification, a ranking established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.
“This achievement highlights Queens College’s commitments to provide our students with facilities that have a minimal impact on the environment,” says Dave Gosine, QC’s Director of Facilities Design, Construction and Management.
Buildings achieve LEED certification—Certified (base), Silver, Gold and Platinum—for energy use, lighting, water and material use, as well as for incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. By using less energy and water, LEED-certified buildings save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for all.
Among the ways in which the Summit achieved Gold status was through recycling and sorting more than 75% of the waste material produced during construction, which would have otherwise gone to a landfill. It also regionally sourced more than 20% of new construction materials. This means that the raw materials for such things as steel framing and concrete were harvested or extracted, and the products manufactured, within 500 miles of the project site.
Also helping The Summit reach Gold status is an initiative to educate residents about what it means to be LEED certified and why this particular building rated Gold. Signage explaining the green features of The Summit—such as the location of bike racks and areas of landscaping to promote efficient drainage and reduce run-off—are being posted near the main elevator in the building’s lobby. Residents and visitors will also see a map indicating where those sustainable efforts are being implemented in and around the building.
Queens College junior and Summit resident Sarah Leibowitz is delighted with the building’s Gold ranking, in particular the signage initiative. “Educating students in The Summit about the importance of being green and how the building is accomplishing it is a great idea,” she says. “This definitely will make people feel more involved and, hopefully, it will inspire some to take their own steps to lessen their impact on the environment.” A psychology and neuroscience major, Leibowitz is passionate about the environment and collects residents’ used candy, cookie and chip wrappers and drink pouches for a company that turns them into a variety of products, including park benches.
“The green building movement offers an unprecedented opportunity to respond to the most important challenges of our time, including global climate change, dependence on non-sustainable and expensive sources of energy and threats to human health,” says Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “The work of innovative building projects such as The Summit at Queens College is a fundamental driving force in the green building movement.”
About the U.S. Green Building Council
The Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for the nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. It leads an unlikely diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students. For more information, visit www.usgbc.org.
The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED green certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. Over 100,000 projects are currently participating in the LEED rating systems, comprising over 8 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 114 countries.